LESSON PLAN FOR MICRONESIA
90 min. class
By the end of this lesson the students will be able to:
List several positive and negative affects of westernization of Micronesia
Identify on a map the main island groups of Micronesia
List differences in economies of the different island types
List several difficulties of “island life”
Show PowerPoint presentation of Micronesian islands and ask students to
imagine they lying on a beach on an island in the middle of the Pacific.
The crystal blue waters are lapping at your toes, while the gentle trade
winds are cooling the rest of you on another warm idyllic day. (I
will explain to the students that I lived in Micronesia for a couple of
years and will be able to teach them a great deal about an area of the
world that is frequently overlooked in Geography).
After the students have seen the presentation and have a general idea about
what some of the islands are like, pose this question: Do you think that
if you got into your car right now, you would be able to drive from here
to Los Angeles? Now, take away your road maps, road signs and even
roads, do you think that you could do it now. Eventually, you would
probably get there, but it would take you a lot longer. The people
in Micronesia had no roads, maps or signs for them to get from one island
to another. Most of the time it was just open ocean. Yet they
found there way to other islands for trade and colonization. How
did they do this? After some discussion, show them the Marshallese
I will have an outline on the white-board that the students will copy
and fill in as new information and key points are given.
I. Main Island Groups - on map (atolls, high islands, volcanic
A. Marshall Islands
B. Federated States of Micronesia
C. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
A. Other islands
A. Fishing (Exclusive Economic Zones)
A. Oral histories
i. Read a legend from Legends of Micronesia book
V. Westernization (how this reflects upon economy and culture)
1. Keeps some traditions alive
a. Craft making, etc. (show crafts from Micronesia)
ii. Government money
1. Military use (Show pictures of Kwajalein Atoll)
iii. Easier trade
iv. Spread of Christianity
i. Dependency on US
ii. Nuclear testing (show pictures of Bikini Atoll)
iii. New diseases
v. Over-fished waters
vi. Conflict between old culture and new one
Have students work in groups of three-four and make up a legend of
their own. Students will then answer the following questions:
Why are the islands of Micronesia important? Past, present, future
If you were to move to one of these islands, which one would you move to?
Why? How would you make a living? What would you do for fun?
Extra Credit – Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
If your island does not have a way to remove the salt from the ocean water
and there are no freshwater rivers or lakes on your island (like coral
atolls), how do you get water to drink?
Map Activity (Region, Spread of cultures)